TACLOBAN CITY– The World Food Programme (WFP) has donated 16 units of disaster response equipment to the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office VIII (DSWD FO VIII) in a Ceremonial Handover held at the Regional Resource Operations Center, Pawing, Palo, Leyte on November 8.

The 16 units of disaster response equipment, one of which is a rice milling machine, included a reach truck, automatic box sealer machine, vacuum sealing machine, automatic roller conveyor, high volume low-speed ceiling fan, 110 kVA generator set, plastic pallet, an aluminum boat with a 40 HP engine, a trailer for an aluminum boat, two tower lights with generator set, and four hydraulic hand pallet trucks.

The WFP, DSWD FO VIII, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), signed a deed of donation and acceptance during the ceremonial handover.
According to the DSWD Undersecretary for Disaster Management Group, Diana Rose Cajipe, the equipment that was handed over represented a shared determination to save lives and the well-being of fellow Filipinos, responding swiftly and effectively in times of crisis, ensuring that no one is left behind.

“The Department of Social Welfare and Development, through its Disaster Response Management Group, pledges to utilize these resources judiciously and efficiently,” Cajipe said.

“We will continue working with partners, local communities, and volunteers to build a nation that is not only prepared for disasters but also capable of providing swift and compassionate assistance to those in need,” Cajipe added.

According to WFP Country Director Dipayan Bhattacharyya, the WFP started collaborating with the DSWD after the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013, as the distribution of food, cash, and ready-to-use supplementary foods reached over 2 million people. This event strengthened the partnership between WFP and DSWD to jointly implement various initiatives, activities, and projects on social protection, food security, emergency preparedness, and response.

“WFP remains fully committed to supporting the Philippine government in these efforts beyond the handover of this equipment. WFP is very grateful for all these collaborations. Together, we are making a difference in the Filipino communities before and after a disaster strike,” WFP Country Director Dipayan Bhattacharyya said.

The WFP also worked closely with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to develop an innovative mobile operations vehicle called the Mobile Operations Vehicles for Emergencies (MOVE) project, allowing humanitarian workers and government responders to deliver immediate assistance and save lives during emergencies.
The event serves as a significant milestone in disaster preparedness, response, and recovery in Eastern Visayas, marking its 10th Super Typhoon Yolanda commemoration.